Home > General catalogue > Studi e ricerche > The Merchant in Venice: Shakespeare in the Ghetto > Composing the Jew’s Soundscape in Operatic Versions of The Merchant of Venice
« previous chapter | next chapter »
cover

Chapter

Composing the Jew’s Soundscape in Operatic Versions of The Merchant of Venice

Judah Cohen    Indiana University, USA    

DOWNLOAD PDF

abstract

Opera composers adapting The Merchant of Venice have given Shylock a distinctive sound using musical techniques that mark him as a classic outsider. Drawing on the scores of ten of these operas this essay highlights five compositional strategies for characterizing Shylock. Separately, these strategies highlight subtle shifts in the portrayal of Jews across different eras and localities. Together, they point to a deeper portrayal of Jews as figures who live on the margins of European tonality. Shylock in these operas projects an ambiguous social status and lack of alignment with the more consonant world of the other characters.

keywords: Opera. Music. Shylock. The Merchant of Venice. Chromaticism. Ciro Pinsuti. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Otto Taubmann. Jews. Aldo Finzi. Reynaldo Hahn. Josef B. Foerster. Adrian Beecham.

Language: en

Published: June 10, 2021  
permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/978-88-6969-503-2/010

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License